The Dorper breed of sheep is a hardy and fast-growing South African breed bred specifically to be a meat sheep suitable to more arid regions. The breed proved itself as a hardy mutton sheep with a top quality carcass at a relative early age.
History of the Dorper sheep
The Dorper sheep was developed in the 1930’s by the Department of Agriculture of South Africa when they did a crossing with a Dorset Horn Ram and Blackhead Persian ewes.
Other breeds, such as the Van Rooy, are also believed to have contributed to the development of the White Dorper breed.
Dorper sheep Characteristics
The Dorper is the second largest breed in South Africa and has spread to many other countries throughout the world.
It adapts well to a variety of climatic and grazing conditions, including the arid extensive regions of South Africa. The breed has high fertility and maternal instinct, combined with high growth rates and hardiness.
The wool is generally white, with a characteristic black head.
The Dorper is an easy-care breed which requires minimal input of labour. Its thick skin protects the sheep under harsh climatic conditions and is highly prized, being the most sought-after sheepskin in the world.